I came across some cool ideas in a magazine the other day–in an article called “How to Recycle Anything.” I thought I’d share with you a few of them.


Send them your wrappers, bottles, bags, yogurt tubs, and… Capri Sun? This place collects (compensating a few cents for each item) all sorts of stuff and recycles them into new products.



These two websites collect (or used to collect) prom dresses and other formal wear for girls who don’t have the money to buy new ones. Both websites currently are filled up with their capacity of dresses. Sure is a cute idea, though.




The American Birding Association will take almost anything related to birdwatching that you can find, including tripods, field guides, and backpacks.



St. Jude’s Ranch of Children is asking for old Christmas cards. Yep, kids cut off the front and make new cards to sell as a fund raiser. I personally think this is a super idea. We have at least 5 brown paper bags stored away full of Christmas cards sent in the 90s.



I hear you can send used Crocs to this address–they will be re-made and donated to under-privileged families.

Crocs Recycling West, 3375 Enterprise Avenue, Bloomington CA 92316


Here is my favorite. “The CRAYON RECYCLE PROGRAM takes old, rejected, broken crayons to a better place, where they’ll be recycled into fresh, new crayons!” Please leave the wrappers on! Sorters say it’s very difficult to tell dark colors apart from each other.



Monster Cookies!

Here’s what my cousin and I have been up to: (the picture doesn’t show it very well, but they were bigger than our faces.)

Our colossal chocolate chips started as a joke, an extra-large spoonful of dough flung at the cookie sheet by my cousin, Katie. She should have known better than to do that in front of me! I took advantage of Mom’s good mood and plopped down five more blobs and slipped them into the oven before she could change her mind.

It’s a bull!

Carmen the cow FINALLY had her calf yesterday. My cousin, Katie, named it Brownie. Quite fitting, hm?

Carmen chose the one span of time (which was only about 45 minutes long) that none of the family was around to have  the thing. We were a bit frustrated with her, after we had spent the past 2 weeks watching very carefully, noting every possible sign that might hint she was about to give birth. My cousin is an animal lover in the most extreme form, so we were hoping that she could watch too…. Some animals are just like that though, they want their privacy. =)

The Neverfail

I took a shower today during a small, far-off thunder storm. Our electricity must have gone out for only 2 seconds about five or six times while I was in there! Each teasing occurrence jolted me into “hurry-up-and-get-the-soap-off!!!” mode, only to realize soon after that the black-out was really just a blink. Washing my hair was the most nerve-wracking. I lathered up and rinsed it out as fast as possible. Sure enough, as soon as I was done, the lights went off for keeps. “Thank GOODness,” I thought as I stepped onto the bath mat, laughing at the thought of myself walking around with a head half covered in suds. I opened the window to let some steam out, and noticed the difference between the brightness of our yard and the darkness of the bathroom. For a split second I thought, “Hey, the lights didn’t turn off out there!”

That’s when I started thinking… DUH! Of course the lights didn’t turn off outside! In fact, God’s creation never malfunctions. I can’t think of even one way the cycle of life on earth–vegetable, animal, or mineral–could fail. Sure, there are some rough edges in the weather pattern, but is that a flaw? No. It’s just part of how God designed the precipitation to fall. Sure, animals (and humans, or that matter) kill other animals, and devour plants, but is that a flaw? No, it’s part of the food chain, and it’s part of how God planned the synergy here on earth. When a snag happens, when a mistake is made, it’s because a human interfered.

Psalm 18:30 says, “As for God, His way is perfect: the word of the LORD is proven, He is a shield to all those that trust in Him.” Knowing this, shouldn’t it be easy to trust in Him?


Last weekend I babysat overnight. I had such an awesome time!

The boys (Dalton, 10; and Joey, 9) are absolutely hilarious. They spend all day wrestling or chasing each other. I don’t usually mind, as long as they are smiling and not biting, but this time they were just too rowdy. So I locked them outside for 15 minutes! My goal was to get them interested in something out there so they could have fun out of my hair, but they decided it was more fun to spend that time trying to open windows and pick the lock on the front door to get inside. Not 2 minutes after I let them in, they went right back out and played in their fort for 2 hours! That’s what you get when you try to structure a little boy’s time!

I was also in charge of Alyssa, age 4. She is a real cutie, and happy to play “Princess Cards” all day! We usually have fun teaming up against the boys. Once, when the boys tied me to a rocking chair, Alyssa came to my rescue (I’m so glad she’s good with knots!) and we fled to our head quarters in the bathroom to plan our revenge. We couldn’t do much to them (a babysitter and a 4-year-old against two boys that are almost as tall as the babysitter? Yeah right!!!) but we still had fun.

The weekend provided some good experience. I figured out a lot about what discipline works for them, what drink they like with dinner, and how much time they should spend watching TV/playing gameboy/on the computer. I felt very honored that their parents would trust me to watch them for that long!

Tess is our nice animal. Of course, I love all our pets, but there’s just something special about Tess.

When Tess was kitten, she was an absolute clean-freak. If you so much as touched a paw, she would have to lick it until it was, once again, untarnished. At a solid 10 years, she is still constantly immaculate. I mean perfect. We (the family and I) are fairly well convinced that she is quite aware of her perfectness, too.

She has always been the one to catch the nice-looking animals, like the birds or chipmunks. Something the family enjoys inspecting. In comparison, Kitty number 2, Alice, kills some gross rodent and then proceeds to eat it whole (I’ll never forget the star-nosed mole… ugh), right on the front step. Nowadays, Tess mostly window shops from her designated stool, with a clear view of the bird feeder, conveniently enough.

The picture just above is typical of our feline friend. Bright eyes, soft fur, and dripping with scratchableism.

Bo’s skull

Hee Hee. No, I’m not writing about our dog’s skull, just the one he found.

I’m telling you, Bo has RADAR for those things! Yesterday, Bo and I were enjoying a nice little jaunt in our woods. He was running all over the place, following a million different trails of a million different animals. All of a sudden, he stopped dead in his tracks, sniffed the air for a second, and shot off into the woods. “That was weird,” I thought, and stopped to photograph a new flower while I waited for him to return. Sure enough, a couple minutes later he comes marching back, bone in mouth. “Bo!” I called after him as he skipped back home, “You have about 50 of those in the yard already! Why do you need another?” My call went unheeded, I found him 20 minutes later, still chewing on the same bone!